Along with Easter, Christmas services are some of the most-attended worship services of the year. This creates an excellent opportunity to reach out to people who might not attend your church regularly. Here are some ideas to help you plan a successful Christmas Day or Christmas Eve service for your congregation and visitors.
Be True to Your Regular Church Services
Christmas is a special time and you understandably want to make your service stand out from the rest of the year. However, don’t forget the importance of portraying an honest view of your church to potential members. You don’t want people to come to your church the next weekend expecting a service just like the Christmas one, and then be disappointed.
That doesn’t mean you can’t add some special touches; just be sure they’re consistent with the tone and style of your regular worship services.
Set the Right Tone with Music and Decorations
Music is an integral part of any service, but it’s especially important for Christmas services. The songs you select will influence the tone of the entire service. From classic and nostalgic to contemporary and modern, the right tone will make a memorable night.
Likewise, decorations create a certain mood. Think about the feelings you want to convey and decorate accordingly. Of course, no matter what the rest of the decorations look like, you’ll want to include a Nativity scene somewhere in the church to remind people of the true reason for the season!
Find a Way to Include the Children
Many families attend Christmas services together, and that often means more children than usual. Find a way to accommodate or even include children in the worship service. You might hand out Christmas-themed coloring or activity books to keep them occupied, invite them up on stage to sing a simple Christmas song, or plan some other suitable activity.
Alternatively, you can provide childcare or children’s classes for each service. Consider what is feasible, especially if you don’t normally provide childcare or classes.
Promote Your Christmas Service
There may be competing Christmas services in the area. Make sure people can find yours by promoting it on social media channels, your church’s website, other local websites, and printed materials. Also let your members know that they’re encouraged to bring their family for Christmas services!
Incorporate a Service Project or Outreach Effort
If your church has been participating in a Christmas-themed outreach event, tie that back into the service somehow. For example, if you’ve been collecting money for a charitable cause, announce the total funds raised to date. Remind attendees of the importance of a selfless spirit, not just during Christmas, but all year long.
Collect Contact Information from Attendees
Try to find a subtle way to collect basic contact information from attendees, including name and email or phone number. That way, you can follow up with them and invite them to future services. There are many creative ways you can do this without making them feel pressured to share. Here are a few examples:
- As visitors arrive, hand out flyers with a short welcome message that includes a space to fill in contact information.
- Or, put a short survey on the back of song sheets and ask that visitors return the sheets at the end of the service. This won’t feel intrusive since you’re not directly asking for information, but rather, presenting the opportunity to share if they are comfortable doing so. Be careful not to overwhelm them with too many questions.
Serve Refreshments at the End of Each Service
Even if your church doesn’t normally do this, make an effort to serve refreshments after the Christmas services. This will encourage people to stay a little longer and build connections. These connections may even prompt the occasional attendees to start coming more regularly.
This is also a good alternative time to gather contact information from visitors, rather than the beginning of the service. People will be relaxed as they’re enjoying refreshments, and may be more willing to share their information.
Create a “Wow” Moment in the Service
Between the chaos of holiday shopping and family gatherings, it’s hard to keep your church top-of-mind in the weeks following Christmas. Try to create a “wow” moment in your service – something that inspires awe in attendees. This will make it easier for them to remember the experience and hopefully return in the future.
How you create the “wow” moment is up to your imagination. Give everyone a candle as they arrive, and then light the candles in the middle of the service while everyone reflects on the Nativity story. Or plan a special musical performance at the end. There are endless possibilities!
Plan Seating Arrangements
Most churches experience a large influx of visitors during the holiday season. Make sure you account for that in your seating arrangements for the night. You may have to buy extra chairs and create an overflow seating area for Christmas visitors.
If you’re in need of extra seating, let ChurchPlaza be your resource for affordable, high-quality chairs. We offer several Quick Ship options if you have an immediate need of church chairs. Talk to a product consultant today to see how we can serve your church.
Merry Christmas from ChurchPlaza to your congregation!